“Zoey 101 ”Star Matthew Underwood Says He Quit Acting After His Agent Allegedly Assaulted Him at 19

"My trust was betrayed and my self image was crushed,” the actor said

<p>Mark Von Holden/Variety via Getty </p> Matthew Underwood.

Mark Von Holden/Variety via Getty

Matthew Underwood.

Matthew Underwood is opening up about why he left behind his acting career.

The Zoey 101 star, 33, shared a post on Instagram Friday, in which he said that he was assaulted by his former agent, whom he does not name, when he was 19. The revelation was made amid the release of Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, a docuseries examining the toxic behind-the-scenes culture on popular children's shows.

“When I was 19, I was sexually harassed and then assaulted by my agent at the time, who had spent a decent amount of time building trust with me as a friend and mentor. Again, my trust was betrayed and my self image was crushed,” Underwood wrote. “I reported him to the agency and he has since been fired — although he is still active in the industry. This experience provoked my move away from LA and ending my pursuit of acting.”

Underwood then said that he was sharing his story because “many people have been blowing up my email” and calling him a “pedophile defender” after the release of Quiet on Set, which features abuse allegations against Dan Schneider, who helmed Zoey 101.

“I imagine many of my friends in the business are being equally harassed if they aren’t joining in the chorus, so I’m sharing this with hope that some of you can recognize that just because a person doesn’t shout from the rooftops that pedophiles are bad or that people can suck — that does not mean they don’t have their own reasons for staying silent, good reasons, personal reasons," he said. “I have extreme empathy for anyone who has been taken advantage of by people they trusted. I hope they are all able to grow to love themselves and have great support from their family and friends in their journey of recovery.”

<p>Nickelodeon / Courtesy: Everett Collection</p> The 'Zoey 101' cast.

Nickelodeon / Courtesy: Everett Collection

The 'Zoey 101' cast.

Related: ID Docuseries Goes Inside Alleged 'Toxic Environment' of Kids TV Shows Under Dan Schneider

Continuing his statement, Underwood wrote about his own experience as a child star, writing, “I never had a bad experience working on set of a Nickelodeon show and I never had a bad experience with Dan. I have nothing to add to the conversation that anyone would care to hear."

Underwood starred as the character Logan Reese on Zoey 101 from 2005 to 2008. He reprised his role in the 2023 film Zoey 102.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Directing his attention to Schneider, 58, directly, Underwood then said, "I like to believe people have the capacity to be better humans and Dan appears to recognize that he had been an a------ in his past. I like to believe he is fully capable of being a creator and coworker everyone can enjoy working with.”

Underwood — who also said in his post that he was allegedly "groomed and molested" at age 12 by a friend's father continued, "I have no expectation to work with him again, this is just me wanting good for anyone who wants to be better."

<p>John M. Heller/Getty</p> Matthew Underwood in 2008.

John M. Heller/Getty

Matthew Underwood in 2008.

Related: 'All That' Alum Kenan Thompson Says 'Quiet on Set' Is 'Tough to Watch' and Urges Nickelodeon to 'Investigate More'

In the caption of his post, Underwood said that his current agents are not the ones his allegation revolves around.

"To ensure there is no confusion, I want to make it clear that my current agents Lauren Green and Sam Hampton of Modern Artists Entertainment are incredible humans who are sincere, genuine, and smart professionals in this industry," he wrote.

"They have always listened to my concerns and watched out for my well being. I want to thank Lauren Green for literally having my back since I was 8 years old," Underwood continued. "The only period of my life that I wasn’t represented by her, was the year and a half I had this s----- experience with this other agent."

"If it wasn’t for Lauren and Sam, I would never have been on a screen again," he concluded, tagging his agents' Instagram handles.

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV is now streaming on Max.

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.